Saturday, March 28, 2020

An Interesting, Low Key Summer In Store?

Not Memorial Day weekend? Not this year!
Let's see..... No Summer Olympics, The Tour looks like it may be run with no spectators, if they run it at all, and the Indy 500 postponed their traditional Memorial Day event to August.

Y'all know why, I won't drag you through that again....

Add in many gravel events and other cycling events to that list. The Prairie Burn 100, which is run the first weekend of June- cancelled for 2020, The Heywood Ride, postponed, and others are either postponed, or leaning that way.

Even the venerable Dirty Kanza said they will make it official one way or the other on May 1st. You have to wonder, with this thing still ramping up and it is almost April, it is hard to imagine we'll be getting any "all-clear" signals by the end of May, but who knows?

Whatever happens, it is going to be a very interesting, (or boring, depending upon your point of view), Summer in the gravel world. I saw a discussion on Facebook, on one gravel oriented page, with many voicing the opinion that this catastrophe is going to knock the corporate element out of the gravel scene. There was talk about how there would be a return to individual rides and non-competitive adventuring.

Well, not to be a wet rag, but as the kids say, "no duh!" See, many events are cancelled and/or postponed for the Spring and maybe most of the Summer. Getting into groups is frowned upon, and possibly deadly. So, yeah....of course that line of thinking is correct, for now. 

But when this whole thing is over, and it will be, we don't know exactly what will happen. I'm betting people will be itching to do something like the Dirty Kanza, or Prairie Burn, or The Heywood. They will be buying stuff again, fixing stuff again, and going out in droves in groups again because they will be allowed to. That will bring the situation right back to where we are today. Too many people remember how it was and will want it back that way again.

Or maybe something more radical will occur. Again- I don't know. But anyone who is thinking that this pandemic is going to "fix the gravel scene" is not thinking straight. Disrupting it? Sure. Absolutely. But once this passes, then what? I'm not so sure that things won't be very similar to how they were. At least in terms of the gravel riding community. In the meantime, it looks like we are in for a very strange, interesting Summer.


teamdarb said...

I was having a conversation a few days ago predicting BMX to make a huge comeback out of this situation. The bikes are small enough to make the most mundane adventures an absolute hoot. There are so many quality frameset and components out there for the take at the moment. The latest updates to BMX geometry will have some screaming into the bottom bracket of their Chamois Hagar. Bringing back true adult and kid cycling adventure.

Guitar Ted said...

@teamdarb - There has been a noticeable uptick in skateboarding and trick style BMX here in our locale.

Iowagriz said...

This post made me think of RAGBRAI and the Iowa ride (did I get that name right?) - if COVID is still around by July, that would be a terribly good way to pass it around.